I am not a big supporter of "Out with the old and in with the new". Things were just made better in the old days (My goodness I'm starting to sound like my mother!) The fact is, though, craftsmen just seem to have had more pride in quality and workmanship before, in everything they did. My philosophy is to repurpose and re-use older, better constructed things.
Recently a woman called me because she visited a furniture store where they had a great selection of artistically decorated painted furniture, mainly dressers and hutches, but other items too. She really liked the look of the furniture, but complained about the cost and the quality of the items. She told me she had an old dresser, and also an old rickety desk, and she wondered if I could make them look like the furniture in the store. Since I wasn't sure exactly what she had in mind I told her I would go to the store and look at the furniture before I could give her and answer.
After my store visit, I told her I could do anything she wanted, provided the furniture was "save-able". The pieces turned out to be solid, albeit a bit worn and scratched. We discussed color and design, and I got busy.
First, the pieces were sanded and cleaned, and any dents or holes were filled. Then I primed them, painted them the desired color, and added the artistic effects. The last coat of protective topcoat was applied, and viola! A new look for old stuff and a happy owner. Pictures are on our site.
If you decide to repurpose an old piece of whatever, just know that you can. Older items add interest and style in any home, and become unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. If you're not artistic, use a stencil, do decoupage, or simply a bright color.
Ideas for repurposing old items : Use an old door for a headboard or table, an old wooden ladder, painted and hung on a wall sideways or lenthwise becomes a display rack. Mismatched chairs, painted the same color, become a set for a dining room table.
Next time you decide to throw something out, take a second look at it. Could it be repurposed? We live in a disposable society - out with the old and in with the new- and we lose our ability to value the treasures of the past. Perhaps I'm just sentimental, or maybe I'm just getting old, but I do enjoy looking at where we've come from and I believe that if you don't appreciate your past, how can you appreciate the possibilities of your future.